Friday, April 18, 2008
The night before the end.
It is the 18th of April. Last year we were in Walnut Creek at John Muir. Stevie was admitted. She was in and out but holding tight to my hand. We just got her into a room with a big window and the view was like it is today, sunny and beautiful. I asked her if she could see it, and she said, "Yes" but I knew she couldn't so I described it to her. I told her the sky was clear and blue, the tree's were so green, I told her it was a perfect day.
She was afraid, I was afraid. Steve was in denial, Aly was holding on and Noah was oblivious. You could feel it happening, it was so close and I couldn't hold it back, with all the hope and love in the world I couldn't hold it back it just kept coming.
Late that night I sent everyone home, I was so tired, I had not slept for days and I kept telling myself all we needed was a good nights sleep. I asked Aly to stay, I don't know why, maybe I did, I just don't know.
They set up a cot for Aly and I got into bed next to Stevie. I just held onto her and she held onto me, it was all we had it is all we could do. I kept whispering, "It's Ok honey we are almost there, this is almost over" Alarms went off, medication didn't work it was awful and ugly and I was so tired, she was so tired and in so much pain.
She signed "A-S-L-E-E-P" I couln't understand, my brain was too foggy. Aly said, "asleep mom" I asked Stevie is she wanted to go to sleep and she nodded "Yes" I turned off all the lights, turned down her alarms and snuggled in.
We must have fallen asleep, the nurses left us alone. At about four in the morning I felt her squeeze my hand tight, three times. I asked her if she had to go to the bathroom and she shook her head. I fell back to sleep. I was dreaming that someone was telling me to go lay down next to Aly so I did, it was like sleep walking. I closed my eyes for just a minute more then I was wide awake. I went to check on Stevie and she was unconscious. Her eyes were half open but her pupils were not moving, she was not responding.
I woke Aly. I went to the nurses station and asked for cleaning bedding and bathing stuff, I also asked for a pair of scissors. I came back and cut all Stevie's clothes off. Aly and I washed her body and rubbed her with lotion, satsuma from her favorite place. I called Steve and my sister to come, I knew she was gone, her body had enough.
The doctor came in and told us it was time to let her go. Steve lost it. I yelled at them to get all the monitors and wires off of her.
I pulled off her oxygen mask and kissed her and cried all over her face. We were all crying and telling her we loved her. It wasn't soft and beautiful it was heartbreaking and terrible. I didn't want to let her go but I had to, it was my job to let her go.
She took a few breaths and she was gone.
I am sitting her crying terribly hard. I had to write this but it hurts so much, too much.
It feels like I have to keep letting her go when what I really want is to have her back.
No more writing I have come undone, I have to find a way to let this part of the grieving go and learn to celebrate her life. I don't know how to do that, I don't how people live through this, it is more than a person should be asked to do. I don't know why she had to live through what she did and then die...it is just so painful, so wrong, so unfair. She was so good.